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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 Part 1 – Formation of the Archaeological Record

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Course Code
Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

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Lecture 12 Part 1 – Formation of the Archaeological Record  Michael B. Schiffer o How does a culture produce archaeological remains and how are they modified after they are deposited  Systematic/Dynamic Context o System of integrated parts; ultimate goal of archaeology o Functioning past  Formation Processes o Cause the archaeological record to be as it is o 1. Cultural Formation Processes  a. S-S Processes  Systemic to systemic  Affect what ends up in the record  Objects are altered while in the culture  Change of form through use, making it, etc.  E.g. manufacturing (stone into stone tools), use (broken weapon tips, etc.), recycling  Reflection of what people were doing and thinking (rocks to make tools out of, what can be recycled, etc.)  b. S-A Processes  Processes by which items are changed from the systemic context into the archaeological context  2 basic processes: o Discard: produces refuse; refers to materials that have outlived their usefulness (e.g. sharpened so much it is too small to use)  Primary refuse: discarded at the location they were made, used or modified; left exactly where it was last used  Secondary refuse: refuse not discarded
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